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Friday, Feb. 6, 2009

Silence is golden all over the world


Special to The Japan Times

Who are these two guys — one has a red Mohawk, the other a yellow one? They are popping up everywhere these days on TV sporting black shades and tight mod suits — even advertising potato snacks. Well, the red one's Ketch, the other is Hiro-pon, and together they are Gamarjobat ("Hello" in Georgian). Their brilliant mime routines and great sense of humor have taken them to 150 venues in 23 countries, and earned them an admirable accolade from Newsweek Japan magazine in 2007 as "one of the 100 most respected Japanese (acts or people) worldwide."

News photo
Speechless: Comedy duo Gamarjobat will be touring Japan till April.

Ketch and Hiro-pon teamed up in September 1999 in Tokyo, and just a year later people from all over the world were cramming into their gigs at the huge and prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. By 2004, as the buzz around them continued to build with their nonstop touring, Gamarjobat were back at the Fringe to scoop the lofty Double Act Award — followed in 2005 by the stratospheric Tap Water Award, when they were chosen from among the festival's 2,000 acts and at one fell swoop became the event's top celebrities. At that time, indeed, The Scotsman newspaper described them as "irresistibly, endearingly funny and undoubtedly the most skilled and clever comedy in Edinburgh," and the London-based Daily Telegraph dubbed them "utterly mesmerizing."

But sadly, the silent duo's resounding success in Europe and beyond has, for most of the last decade, kept them busy far away from these shores. So, to give the folks back home a chance to see what's been causing such a global buzz, Gamarjobat decided on a long domestic run in 2009 — a three-month national tour that kicks off in Tokyo next week and takes them the length and breadth of the nation, from Hokkaido to Kyushu. If comedy of the highest order appeals to you, then be sure to hurry and get your tickets to see just what's got the whole world excited.

"Gamarjobat, Japan Tour 2009" runs Feb. 11 to 15 at the Tennozu Ginga Gekijo (Galaxy Theatre), 3 mins. from Tennozu Isle Station on the Tokyo Monorail and Rinkai Line. It then tours 25 cities in Japan till Apr. 30. For more information, call Nelke Brains and Hearts at (03) 5465-2400 or visit www.gamarjobat.com


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